Many of us are finding it so very difficult to engage in conversations across the divides that face us. How do we connect with our neighbor, who has a political lawn-sign that we oppose? What do we say to our family member whose attitude toward the Covid vaccine has made us feel less trustful and connected? How do we advocate against proposed laws that are systematically disadvantageous for communities from the global majority? Where do we get the courage to knock on doors or make phone calls supporting political causes we believe in, when we know we might be walking into a harsh greeting?
Beginning in February 2023, Roxy Manning, Kathleen Macferran, Sarah Peyton, and Kathy Simon will be offering a six-week series that includes three different kinds of meetings each week: whole group sessions, action groups, and peer-led empathy groups. Learning and taking action together, we will apply the skills and consciousness of Nonviolent Communication to social justice work to contribute to creating a society that works better for people and the planet.
Meetings Every Week for Six Weeks
For 6-weeks, we will meet for 60 minutes as a whole group, plus 1 60-minute peer-led empathy and collaboration session per week, beginning on week two of the course. Additionally, there will be 4 weeks of action-focused small group meetings, 90-minutes each.
During our six whole-group sessions, we will practice facing and engaging in hard-to-have conversations about politically-charged issues, with boldness and compassion. We will also work on taking care of ourselves, understanding our own reactions to conflict, and finding ways to face differences without bringing hardship to ourselves.
In addition to the whole group sessions on Wednesdays (8:00am – 9:00am PT), each participant will indicate their preference for one of four Action Groups, centered around the following topics and meeting at the times below. We will try to assign each person to their first or second choice. All times are in Pacific time. Convert to your time zone here.
- Climate Action (Sarah Peyton), Tuesdays, Feb 7, 14, 28 and March 7, 9:00am – 10:30am
- Electoral Politics and Voting Justice (Kathy Simon), Tuesdays, Feb 7, 14, 21, and 28, 3:30 – 5:00pm
- Restorative Justice (Kathleen Macferran), Wednesdays, Feb 8, 15, 22, and March 1, 1:00pm – 2:30pm
- Racial Justice (Roxy Manning), Thursdays, Feb 9, 16, 23 and March 2, 4:30pm – 6:00pm
In these sessions, one of the instructors will teach about these particular areas and offer support in engaging in action. For example, the climate justice group might use the meeting time to become more informed about climate-related issues and also to engage in organizing around these issues. The electoral politics group will take actions related to electoral politics, including, for example, writing letters to voters or elected officials.
In addition to the whole group and small group sessions, all participants are asked to meet an additional time each week in a peer-led gathering, to offer empathic support and to continue collaborating on specific actions.
Where do we meet?
The course will meet via online video conference (zoom). Recordings provided.
Participation in this course includes six weeks of whole group meetings, five weeks of peer-led empathy groups, and four weeks of action groups, running concurrently February 1 – March 8, 2023.
- Whole Group Session (60 minutes: Wednesdays 2/1/23-3/8/23: 11am – 12:00pm Eastern; 8am – 9:00am Pacific)
- Action-focused small groups (90 minutes, each participant chooses one action group)
- Climate Action, Tuesdays, Feb 7, 14, 28 and March 7, 9:00am – 10:30am Pacific
- Electoral Politics and Voting Justice, Tuesdays, Feb 7, 14, 21, and 28, 3:30 – 5:00pm Pacific
- Restorative Justice, Wednesdays, Feb 8, 15, 22, and March 1, 1:00pm – 2:30pm Pacific
- Racial Justice, Thursdays, Feb 9, 16, 23 and March 2, 4:30pm – 6:00pm Pacific
- Peer-led empathy and collaboration session (60-minute session each week; a variety of times will be offered for self-organized groups)
(To convert to your time, please click here)
We believe that our time together will contribute to all of our capacity to contribute to creating a better world. We also are confident that this six-week period will give us all a sense of accomplishment to help overcome any helplessness we feel — we will have taken action together on things that matter deeply.
NOTE: So that we can prepare for the series and explore partnerships, we need to have a minimum of 50 people registered no later than January 4, 2023.